Two members of the proscribed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) allegedly involved in the killing of six soldiers and four policemen in Oyigbo Local Government Area in Rivers State have been arrested.
Governor Nyesom Wike, who stated this, said the curfew imposed on the council, which has been relaxed, helped to reduce tension between the Igbo and Hausa communities in the area.
Special Assistant on Media to the governor, Kelvin Ebiri, said Wike spoke when Rotary District 9141 Governor, Mrs Virginia Major, led a delegation of Rotarians to visit him.
The suspects, according to the governor, were arrested on Monday evening.
He said: “If we did not take the steps we took by imposing curfew in Oyigbo, today, it would have been the Hausa and Igbo that will have been fighting and nobody knows what level it would have taken today.”
The governor said though he had a frosty relationship with the Army and the Police, he would never tolerate the killing of any soldier or policeman in the state.
“I will not support criminality. I won’t because the soldiers don’t like me, then you go and kill them. And then, I will come out and clap, thank you for killing the soldiers. Thank you for killing the police,” he said.
He urged those spreading falsehood that Igbo people were being killed and punished in Oyigbo to be dispassionate in the face of deliberate acts of criminality.
The Rivers State Security Council has relaxed the 24-hour curfew imposed on Oyigbo.
Commissioner of Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, who spoke at the Government House, Port Harcourt, said: “The State Security Council met today (yesterday) and reviewed the situation in Oyigbo and has therefore decided to review the curfew.
“From Wednesday (today), the curfew will be from 7 pm to 6 am until further notice.”
Nsirim said 50 AK 47 rifles were carted away during the crisis.
He urged resident to cooperate with security agencies as they search for the missing rifles.
Founder of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, faulted those blaming Wike for the military operation in Oyingbo.
According to him, the development in Oyingbo was a direct consequence of the utterances of IPOB leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
He said in an interview monitored on YouTube: “Nyesom Wike is not killing any Igbo man. It is not an Igbo thing. Nyesom Wike cannot command the Army to kill anybody in Rivers State.
“It is only the Commander in Chief that can do so as Obasanjo did. It is not within the powers of Wike to stop the Army from killing those who killed their own. Wike didn’t order the Army in Odi and Zaki Biam.
“So, these people who go about on the internet talking rubbish and claiming that Wike is killing Igbo’s should stop speaking for us. The Army is after those who killed their own.”
The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide (OYC) blamed Wike and Kanu for the Oyingbo violence.
In a statement by its President-General Okechukwu Isiguzoro and Secretary-General Okwu Nnabuike, the group said despite the hijack of #EndSARS in several states, none invited the military.
“None of the governors of these states ordered military actions against their people.
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“Wike as Chief Security Officer will surely account for the loss of lives and brutalities in Obigbo in the near future as international human rights groups and activists are gathering information and evidence of genocidal violence escalating in Obigbo,” the group said.